Don’t panic-dye your hair in lockdown – but if you must then read this first

Hairdressers closed, copious amounts of free time and no friends to talk us out of it may amount to the decision that a DIY haircut or dye job is a good idea. And potentially it is, maybe being at home more will provide you with the opportunity to try a colour you’ve always wanted, or maybe you just really need to touch up your roots. However, don’t let lockdown boredom lead you too far down the path of curiosity and you end up with green hair and lopsided layers you never asked for and a hair disaster you can’t undo.

If you do think you’re going to venture into the home hairdressing world, here are a few tips I’ve acquired from friends, family, hairdressers and my own experiences (trust me I now have a pink fringe!)

 

Bleaching

Bleaching your hair can seem very tempting, especially during lockdown boredom, but if you’re doing it for the first time, it has the potential to leave you with orange-tinged, straw dry hair (especially if it’s very dark) and that is not something anyone wants. There are some simple ways to avoid this if you do decide to bleach your hair:

Firstly, its recommended to do a patch test on a strand of hair to see how well your hair takes to bleach and how long it will take to get the desired colour.

Also, you roots tend to lighten quicker than the ends, so if you’re doing a full scalp bleach, start with your ends and work your way up to the roots to ensure a more even colour across your head.

If all of this fails and you are left with orange or yellowy hair, toner is your best friend. You can buy salon strength toner online, or a sliver shampoo left in your hair for 15 minutes or so should start to lift the brassiness. Repeat this until you get an ashier toned blonde.

Get someone to help you, its difficult to see your hair from all angles, if someone helps you then there’s less likeliness for patchiness.

Bleach highlights are a good place to start if you just want to brighten your natural colour a bit or you’ve never used bleach before. They don’t touch the scalp and you can build them up to create a lighter look. Use a highlighting cap to get evenly distributed highlights, they’re cheap to buy online.

To prevent damage, give your hair time to heal in-between bleaches, if your hair didn’t lighten as much as you wanted, it’s important to not re-bleach it straight away as this could permanently damage the hair. It’s also important to take care of your hair after bleaching it, I recommend a hair mask, or an Olaplex solution to keep it soft and shiny.

Dying

Maybe you’ve always wanted to try a crazy colour, or you just need your roots touching up, or your usual hair colour is getting boring for you. There are a few ways in which you can safely switch up your colour without permanently damaging your hair.

Most importantly, make sure you use a semi-permanent dye the first time, then, if you do really dislike it, it’s not a decision you have to live with. Most semi-permanent dyes only last about 6 weeks and fade with each wash.

Avoid box dyes, using cream and semi-permanent dyes are much safer so if it does go wrong, it is easier to fix once lockdown is over, especially if you’re trying to do your roots as colour matching can prove to be quite difficult.

Pinks and peaches wash out quite easily and are a good option if you already have light hair as they pick up the colour quite well. It’s a good alternative to doing your roots as the vibrant colours tend to disguise them.

Avoid blues and greens as they don’t wash out as easily and can permanently stain the hair.

Cutting

Cutting your hair into a new style can be a dangerous game to play, although, it is always fixable as it will grow back. However, nobody wants to be left with uneven layers or a micro fringe they didn’t intend on cutting.

There’s an easy way to try a fringe without cutting your hair using a simple trick with a ponytail to see if you really like it enough to take the jump, so you don’t make any rash decisions.

Keep it longer before you go shorter, if you’re trimming your hair, do it bit by bit and don’t cut too much off at first because it may be shorter than you expected.

High quality sharp hairdressing scissors are cheap and a good investment, don’t cut your hair with blunt scissors not meant for the hair as it can damage the ends.

Don’t cut wet, when your hair is wet you can’t see how it will sit when it’s dry. Cutting dry means you can cut it to how it would be styled usually.

Watch YouTube tutorials from the professionals, these have helped prevent so many home hair disasters for me.

 

But all in all, have fun with it, trying something new might be the exciting thing to get you through lockdown and a new colour or fringe might be the thing that brightens your day.